By Arthur Staple (The Athletic)

ELMONT, N.Y. — There was energy and excitement from the moment the Islanders players found out that Lane Lambert was fired and Patrick Roy — the Patrick Roy — was coming in to be their new coach back on Jan. 20.

“I mean,” Brock Nelson said a few weeks later, “it’s Patrick Roy. Everyone knows who he is.”

Once the novelty of having a Hall of Fame goalie come in to coach the Isles wore off — and it had to wear off quickly since the team was in the middle of the season and sat at 19-15-11, two points out of a playoff spot — the Isles quickly came to discover that Roy was armed with ideas on how to put the team’s defensive structure back together.

And passion.

“His personality is very similar to how he played,” Cal Clutterbuck said. “He’s just very passionate about winning. He’s hungry, he’s got good energy. He’s got a pulse on what to say and what to do at the right time.”

It’s been a bumpy ride to the end of this regular season, but Roy helped this veteran group whose core has been together for going on a decade in some spots to an improbable playoff berth. With some strong words and on-ice changes, the Isles are still a flawed roster that isn’t getting younger.

But they have some of their “pesky Isles” mojo back. And Roy is a big reason why.

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